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Encrypted email service denies accused RCMP leaker’s claim it has intelligence ties

OTTAWA — A company that provides encrypted email service is disputing a former RCMP official’s claim it secretly worked on behalf of an intelligence agency.

Cameron Jay Ortis testified in Ontario Superior Court that a foreign ally told him of a plan to encourage targets to begin using Tutanota, an online encryption service that he called a “storefront” operation created by intelligence agents to snoop on adversaries.

Ortis said he then began enticing investigative targets through promises of secret information, with the actual aim of getting them to communicate with him via Tutanota.

In a statement on its website today, Tuta, as the company is now known, called Ortis’s claim completely false and denied ties to any secret service.

Ortis, 51, has pleaded not guilty to violating the Security of Information Act by revealing secrets to three individuals and trying to do so in a fourth instance.

The Crown argues Ortis lacked authority to disclose classified material and that he was not doing so as part of some sort of undercover operation.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 13, 2023.

The Canadian Press